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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:11 PM
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Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 12:14 PM by kpete
Inside the GOP's Fact-Free Nation
From Nixon's plumbers to James O'Keefe's video smears: How political lying became normal.

By Rick Perlstein

THE '80S

IN RESEARCHING this period, I've been surprised to discover the extent to which Ronald Reagan explicitly built his appeal around the notion that it was time to stop challenging the powerful. A new sort of lie took over: that the villains were not those deceiving the nation, but those exposing the deceitthose, as Reagan put it in his 1980 acceptance speech, who "say that the United States has had its day in the sun, that our nation has passed its zenith." They were just so, so negative. According to the argument Reagan consistently made, Watergate revealed nothing essential about American politicians and institutionsthe conspirators "were not criminals at heart." In 1975, upon the humiliating fall of Saigon, he paraphrased Pope Pius XII to make the point that Vietnam had in fact been a noble cause: "America has a genius for great and unselfish deeds. Into the hands of America, God has placed the destiny of an afflicted mankind."

The Gipper's inauguration ushered in the "Don't Worry, Be Happy" era of political lying. But it took a deeper trend to accelerate the cultural shift away from truth-telling-as-patriotism to a full-scale epistemological implosion.

Reagan rode into office accompanied by a generation of conservative professional janissaries convinced they were defending civilization against the forces of barbarism. And like many revolutionaries, they possessed an instrumental relationship to the truth: Lies could be necessary and proper, so long as they served the right side of history.


Today's marquee fibs almost always evolve the same way: A tree falls in the forestsay, the claim that Saddam Hussein has "weapons of mass destruction," or that Barack Obama has an infernal scheme to parade our nation's senior citizens before death panels. But then a network of media enablers helps it to make a sounduntil enough people believe the untruth to make the lie an operative part of our political discourse.

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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:22 PM
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1. Authentic revolutionaries don't lie, because they know that whatever the truth is, it sets us Free,
not only from others, like Reagan, who ARE lying, but also from our own "instrumental relationships to the truth".
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:47 PM
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2. The "norm" has always been elite lies - start with Adam -- start with the Bible --

it's all about the same thing -- power to the few males who are willing

to be violent --

to slander other groups of people according to various myths of "inferiority" --

The Reagan Era was simply a new right wing crime wave --

not unlike the Nixon crime wave --

Imo, these were both stolen elections --

Nixon's -- possibly with help from the voting computers coming in at the time --

but certainly by Nixon's treasonous back channel dealings to keep the Vietnam PEACE

talks from going forward -- promising them that they'd get a better deal if he were

president! Certainly also the pathways were cleared for Nixon with the taking

out of Wallace -- and later assassination of Bobby Kennedy.

Reagan also provided a treasonous "October Surprise" with GHW Bush and Gates playing

key roles.

Without a free press -- and with stolen elections -- the public is left defenseless

against the right wing.

The right wing can only rise via political violence -- and we've had more than 50+

years of it!

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